The location for the Slidell casino resort project of a California gambling operator has remained a hot topic for the local community, just like it turned into a blot on the landscape. The land where the casino was supposed to be has become overgrown with tall grass and local community and businesses urge the casino company that currently owns the 100-acre land to make a decision about the fate of the undeveloped property.
Peninsula Pacific Entertainment (P2E) permanently shut its Bossier City-based DiamondJacks Casino amid the Covid-19 pandemic. At the time, the gambling operator explained that Bossier City was no longer an attractive market due to fierce competition in the region. The company turned to state authorities to seek approval to relocate the gaming license it holds in Louisiana to Slidell.
However, before P2E was allowed to break ground for its $325-million project Camellia Bay Resort, the voters in St. Tammany Parish had to give their approval. Unfortunately for the gambling company, that never happened, as 63% of St. Tammany’s voters rejected the casino ballot question in November 2021.
Subsequently, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment sold most of its assets to Churchill Downs Inc., a Kentucky-based company, which, however, had not been interested in bringing a new life to DiamondJacks Casino. That is why the closed property was then sold to Foundation Gaming. Churchill Downs also showed no interest in purchasing the land owned by Peninsula Pacific Entertainment in Slidell, which is the reason why the property still remains vacant and its future is unknown.
P2E Wanted to Bring Top-Notch Casino Resort to the Lakeshore Marina
As reported by CasinoGamesPro, Peninsula Pacific Entertainment had been hoping it would be able to bring a luxurious casino resort to the Lakeshore Marina, with the planned casino set to be built in close proximity to The Blind Tiger restaurant. The land for the failed casino property has not been maintained, with local businesses saying that the 100-acre site has since then become overgrown with weeds and grass.
Parish officials confirmed that they have received multiple complaints regarding the grass but, unfortunately, they are limited in what they can do in order to require the casino operator to ensure proper maintenance of the property. The spokesperson for the parish, Michel Vinsanau, said that the authorities would send their code enforcement officers to the site of the never-built casino to see what they could do to help.
It was also confirmed that the 100-acre land purchased by P2E in 2021 in Slidell included the Lakeshore Marina. The deal was estimated at about $14 million, with the sellers being a consortium of companies and banks that had previously maintained control over the property.
Although the property has not been maintained well, local officials still hope that the casino project will bring investors who are enthusiastic to develop another project to the region, such as a hotel, restaurants, or a place to put boats.
So far, both St. Tammany and Slidell missed out on a large number of potential economic benefits by turning down the Camellia Bay project, which would have brought not only construction and permanent jobs but also additional annual tax revenue from the gaming and non-gaming operations of the venue.